Under the Meteor Flag
This is well-written and full of action. The formula is very much the same as Kingston's--gales, shipwrecks, rafts, hand-to-hand battles, and above all, a super-smart midshipman who doesn’t even shave yet, but who has influence in the Navy.
It is a good yarn, but there are a couple of things I do not like about it. One is the habit of giving people surnames that are also parts of the ship. I know that Marryat did it once or twice, and Kingston did it, but it jars each time. I suppose the virtue of doing this is that you are unlikely to find anyone in real life with that surname, so confusion with actual people is avoided.
The other thing I don’t like is the bringing-in of descriptions almost word for word from other books by the same author. I suppose that's better than bringing in descriptions by other authors.
A very strange thing is the title of the book. The word "meteor" is mentioned only once, and on that occasion the meteor flag was waving while they committed someone's body to the deep. I do think the title ought to have something to do with the book, but at the time this book was written there didn't seem to be a strong rule about it.
It is a longish book, and the audiobook is easy to listen to, but the action goes so fast that you must not let your mind drift while you are listening.
Harry Collingwood (1851-1922). Pseudonym of William Joseph Cosens Lancaster, a civil engineer who specialised in seas and harbours.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century, and sometimes earlier than that. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read either here at the Internet Archive or at www.athelstane.co.uk
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the HTML file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF, HTML and TXT in it, and click on HTML. In this version the entire book appears in the one file, which also includes the style-sheet and any pictures, and is written in xhtml. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for doing so.
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